The Club For Growth announced Tuesday that it would not oppose the Republican House GOP plan to temporarily extend the debt limit until May.
"The Club for Growth will not oppose tomorrow’s vote on the debt ceiling,” the group's president, Chris Chocola, said in a statement. “The Club for Growth will, on the other hand, strongly oppose any efforts during the upcoming debate over the continuing resolution and sequester that fail to arrest out-of-control spending and put sensible limits on the growth of government."
The move gives license to conservative House members to vote for the temporary increase and not face a backlash from the interest group, which favors spending cuts.
The message is a reversal from the group's position last December in the "fiscal cliff" talks, when it urged Republicans to use the debt limit as leverage to enact spending cuts. "Raising the debt ceiling would give away one of the best tools the Republicans have in their arsenal to force real reform," Chocola said on Dec. 17. "The debt ceiling is the only mechanism in law that can restrain spending and hitting it forces Washington to confront its spending problem. Raising the debt limit again simply kicks the can down the road. Instead of raising the debt ceiling, the Republicans should use it to force President Obama and the Democrats to accept structural reforms to entitlements, which are the drivers of our debt."
In an about-face from their previous position to only raise the debt ceiling in exchange for spending cuts, House Republicans are voting on Wednesday to raise the suspend the debt ceiling limit until May 18. House Republicans also want to force the Senate to pass a budget resolution, or else they will withhold lawmakers' pay, a provision which has questionable constitutionality under the 27th Amendment.